July is a Trying Time

Staked Tomatoes
Although a field of 900 tomatoes plants all staked and in neat little rows is a beatiful sight…

Mar and I Staking Tomatoes

I think staking tomatoes used to be a medieval torture treatment. Basically you need to string 4 lines of twine along side of every tomato. You do this by extending a line under the foliage of the plants and tighten the line around each stake. And you try to do this without knocking off any little tomatoes or blossoms!

Striped Cucumber Beetle – most hated insect ever!
Enemy number one: Striped Cucumber Beetle. This guy is really making my July tough.

I’ve been battling this bug since early June, but it has really exploded since early July and is really insult to injury in our dry conditions.

They like anything in the cucurbit family which includes all melons, squash, and cucumbers. Right now they are eating all blossoms and crewing on the fruit of the plants, especially the zucchini.

I have been treating the plants with a substance called PyGanic, which is an organically-approved (OMRI) insecticide made out of Pyrethrin, a natural insecticide made from a plant.

Still the battle is not as successful as hoped. I am now tossing out about 1/3 of all summer squash due to insect damage. So, if you see some little pock marks on a zucchini, sqush, or melon throughout the season, you now know the culprit. But don’t worry, it’s only cosmetic.

Saturday’s Market Menu:
Red Potatoes (new)
Cherry Tomatoes
Red and Sweet Onions
More Zinnia Bouquets
Mini Bok Choy (new)
Summer Squash
A few Eggplants

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